Grilled Spiced Lamb Chops with Vegetable Ragout

Jason Wilson often plunders the gardens of his mother-in-law or sous-chef to get vegetables for this lovely dish. He likes to use really good, locally raised lamb from Anderson Ranch in Brownsville, Oregon, but when he's in the mood for something lighter, he serves the ragout by itself, topped with shavings of Parmesan.

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons minced rosemary
  • 8 lamb rib chops (2 pounds), bones frenched (have your butcher do this)
  • Salt
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas (1 1/2 pounds in the pod)
  • 1 cup shelled fava beans (1 pound in the pod)
  • 6 ounces chanterelles, trimmed, caps quartered if large
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup red pearl onions, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped tarragon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped marjoram
  • Freshly ground pepper

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°. Combine the fennel, coriander and cumin seeds in a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the rosemary. Season the lamb chops with salt and coat with the spice mixture; refrigerate for 1 hour.

  2. In a shallow glass or ceramic baking dish, toss the cherry tomatoes with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and the garlic, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, vinegar and shallot. Add a pinch of salt and bake for about 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.

  3. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the peas and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the peas to a bowl. Add the fava beans to the pan and cook until bright green, about 1 minute. Drain the favas and squeeze each one lightly to pop the bean from its skin. Add the favas to the peas.

  4. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the chanterelles, season with salt and cook over moderately high heat until softened, 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chanterelles are tender and browned, about 5 minutes longer. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the pearl onions, cut side down, and cook over moderate heat until golden on the bottom, 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer over moderate heat until the pearl onions are tender, about 3 minutes longer. Stir the peas and fava beans into the skillet.

  5. Light a grill. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Add the tomato mixture to the vegetable ragout and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint, tarragon and marjoram. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until melted. Season the ragout with salt and pepper.

  6. Grill the lamb chops over high heat until nicely charred on the outside and medium-rare within, about 3 minutes per side. Spoon the ragout into 4 shallow bowls, top with the lamb chops and serve.

Make Ahead

The spice rub can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Suggested Pairing

A robust Mediterranean red—say, an Aglianico from Italy's Campania or Basilicata regions—will complement these hearty chops; plus, Aglianico's natural spiciness pairs well with the Mediterranean flavors.

Contributed By Photo © Tina Rupp Published July 2006

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